Writing and publishing your book means facing the harsh reality of being a writer: Your work isn’t for everyone. There will be people who love you and are over-the-top enthusiastic about your book. Then there will be the haters, who don’t like you or your writing (assuming they’ve even read your book) no matter what you do. They might post negative (or even false) reviews and comments online, stir up drama and even try to ruin your writing career. So what do you do? You learn to live with them.
1. Understand the ‘why.’
Much of the criticism from haters has nothing to do with hating you. For whatever reason, on the Internet, negative people seem more inclined to comment than those who are positive. So while a handful of rude comments can make you feel like the world hates your book, don’t be discouraged – it’s likely just a few, albeit loud group of people.
“I shake it off. Reading is really about the interpretation of the reader and not so much about the writer.” — author Don Feeney
2. Don’t take it personal.
Just because people didn’t like your book doesn’t mean they don’t like you as a person. Appreciate that they took the time to read your book and leave a review. Use the feedback to better understand a reader’s perspective.
“Take it as constructive criticism. It’ll only make you a better writer!” — author Katorry F. Tyler
3. Don’t be defensive.
If you choose to respond to the haters, then do so with kindness. This may surprise them and even convert them to a fan. Sincerity lets them know you care, which is what many people are really seeking. If niceness doesn’t work, then politely withdraw from the drama they are trying to initiate.
4. Move forward.
If you focus on the criticism and negativity, your creativity might get blocked by anger and self-doubt, which will distract you from your goals. When the haters attack, use that as a reminder to recommit to your work and focus on the path ahead of you. Don’t let the rude comments keep you from writing and talking about your book. Instead, let them give you the motivation to keep going.
5. Stay true to you.
Reviews can give you valuable feedback, but if they are not politely helping you realize and amend something you did wrong, ignore them. Don’t write for the critics, write for you. Do what you need to do for yourself and your career because people are going to criticize you no matter what you do.
“I love comments … shows the book is being read!” — author Juliana Vilke
You can worry and obsess over the criticism or you can move on and do what you love to do.